Whether it’s good or bad, change is difficult and disorienting. And even more so for those facing life crises. There’s no question that illness in the family turns everyone’s lives upside down, disrupts routines, and brings overwhelming fear and exhaustion. How to manage?
Even when Taylor’s needs were at their greatest and her cancer at its ugliest, I did my best to take everything one day at a time and not pressure myself to do more in a day than was reasonable. Being with Taylor was priority one – any tasks that could be carried out by someone else was taken off my list. We did our best to spend as much time with Ryan and Corey as we could and to remind them they were every bit as important as Taylor even if Taylor was getting much more than her one-third of our attention.
Of course my advice is given with 20-20 hindsight and of course I made mistakes. Change is hard and little in life is harder than managing a child with a serious illness. I can’t say there are any simple answers and I can’t say there’s always a happy ending to the challenge. But I can say that even after the most negative change life could present, there is sunshine.
I miss Taylor more than I could ever put into words and carry her in my heart always. But my life is filled with love and meaning that has only grown stronger through adversity. I have learned to take life one day at a time even when there are no challenges. I have a greater appreciation of life’s joys because I have known the sorrows.
Our challenge did not have a happy ending and I would give anything in the world for another day with Taylor. But the love she gave and continues to give me has made my life more meaningful. While losing her will never be okay, being her mother is a gift that will last forever.